In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
The real estate industry can be a tough one, with thrilling highs giving way to devastating market downturns. For Virginia’s Gina Tufano, head of team Ask Gina and Company brokered by Pearson Smith Realty, the answer is always to keep moving forward.
She has experienced a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as the worst the market could do and weathered it all, personally and professionally, with the power of faith and a focus on serving others.
How long have you been in the business?
Since 1996: I started when I was buying my first home. Frustrated with the agents and the process, I got a license, and the rest is history.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I aim to be mostly in leadership and out of production. I switched to all listings a few years ago, and as the team grows, I have taken on more of a coaching role.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Have faith. The market ebbs and flows — consistency is key. [Maintaining] lead generation during the busy times will keep the momentum.
How did you learn it?
I put my head down in 2006 (right when the market was in the downward spiral from the boom) to grow my business.
I didn’t let the negativity or fear drive me and instead kept repeating to myself that “the amount of money I make is in direct proportion to the amount of people I help,” “faith, not fear,” and “keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and the results will follow.”
My business grew every single year from 2006 on — in spite of market conditions. I simply showed up and stayed the course — always learning, growing, connecting.
The times when I would let fear win, I would fumble. Faith and consistency allowed me to not only increase my personal sales and income — I was also able to provide opportunities for many around me as the team grew.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Take classes, ask a top producer to lunch, network with those who are doing what you want to, and it will happen — persistence and passion will produce amazing results. Don’t talk yourself into giving up.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter.